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That’s What He Said - Raptors at Celtics

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 95-94 victory over Toronto.

Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.

BRAD STEVENS

RE: Was he surprised that Al Horford was so effective in his first game back:

“No, I mean, I’m not surprised. I think, you know, obviously he missed – he missed a couple of days there, and wanted to make sure he was in really good shape before he came back. But he’s done so much for us for so long; nothing that he does on the court surprises me.”

RE: Horford’s increased assertiveness on offense this year:

“Well, he only took nine shots, and he made bunch of them. We as a team needed to do a better job of finding him I think, at times. They had a real focus on being there on his catch today; they switched a lot of his screens, they tried to take away his three-pointer – you know, they tried to be there and make it really hard to get looks and so we had to play through Al a little bit as a passer, too. But we still – our offense needs to smooth out still, but he’s obviously going to be a huge focal point, and even more so when Kyrie (Irving)’s out.”

RE: Jayson Tatum’s willingness to be assertive late in games:

“He’s always been a guy that’s been wired to make plays and to score the ball, so it’s not a huge surprise that he feels comfortable in those moments. But, you know, in the last couple of games and specifically Friday night, we really needed him to make those plays. Today he was playing more against close-outs because other people were drawing the attention instead of just individual isolation plays. And he took advantage of that.”

RE: How beating Toronto without Kyrie Irving shows depth and focus:

“They’re hard to play against. We just needed to keep kind of chipping away. I think that everybody knows what they need to do, and it’s easier said than done when you’re playing against a really good team and there’s people out there competing against you. I think that we’re trying to maximize every possession. I thought the two biggest possessions of the game for us were Terry Rozier’s two threes at the end of the second and third quarters. I mean, they gave us a chance at halftime – or made us feel better about ourselves – and then at the end of the third it gives you a one-point lead heading into the fourth. And every one – every possession matters when it comes down to a one-point game.”

RE: Digesting this winning streak:

We’re not doing anything different. I mean, we come back, we’ll watch clips tomorrow when we land in Brooklyn from today’s game, just like we did yesterday for a little bit, and then we’ll do individual and group work and just kind of prepare then – start preparing for Brooklyn. It doesn’t change how you prepare. I think when you win some games, I do think that it builds a desire to be even more focused, just because you see some positive results out of that. But it doesn’t change how we go about anything. I haven’t talked – I haven’t heard any of our guys talk about it. Certainly we’re not talking about it.”

TERRY ROZIER

RE: Al Horford offense:

“He’s a big help. He’s going to get you open, he’s going to get himself open. He’s playing young again… He’s scoring a lot. He’s playing good. He’s playing real good.”

RE: Thriving off that pressure:

“Practice it. I’m just trying to simulate it. I’m just trying to make it natural. I like taking those shots and it’s been working out for me, so hopefully I can keep it going.”

RE: Winning streak:

“It’s unbelievable – it really is. I think it’s the most in history? Or something like that – the streak. We try not to think about it but it’s still crazy cause were playing against some good teams too and we’re battling every night and were obviously doing it without a lot of good players. We’re just trying to keep it up.”

MARCUS SMART

RE: Al Horford:

“He brought that spirit back. Al’s a very good offensive player that can go create for himself and others, and when we needed a bucket, we just ran the plays to him and he created for us.”

RE: Not one person will replace Kyrie:

“One person isn’t. It took the whole team tonight to take over the absence of Kyrie. He’s missed greatly, tremendously on this team. But that just shows the type of team we are. One of our brothers goes down again and we respond with a win.”

RE: Winning Streak:

“I’m feeling good. I’m feeling real good. We definitely have a lot to work on but I like the way we’ve been playing, the toughness we’ve been bringing ever game.”

DWANE CASEY

RE: Last shot by DeMar DeRozan:

“I thought it was a great look, he shook him, he was wide open, vaulted up, and I’ll take that shot 999 times out of 1000. Came up short on it, he got to where he wanted to go with the basketball, we got him open, play was well executed by everybody; guy just missed a shot. I’ll take that shot all day, or best player taking the shot he wants at the right time.”

RE: Turnovers:

“We didn’t take care of the ball, I think it was 10 in the first quarter and I think we had one in the second quarter so that led to a lot more possessions. I thought we got good looks offensively, we got where we wanted, we missed some easy shots down the stretch, missed a layup, had an offensive foul, DeMar (DeRozan) missed like two other looks that were wide open and again those are shots our best player taking we are going to live with it.”

RE: OG (Anunoby), CJ (Miles) & Fred (VanVleet) rookies:

“First OG did a heck of a job defensively. He gave us the physical presence we need in that situation. CJ kind of gives us the three-point shooting so we alternated him in and out. I thought Fred gave us a lot of grit and grime defensively. Again, some of the turnovers we had were of our own doing because of our own passing, but we put ourselves in a position to win against a good team”

DEMAR DEROZAN

RE: Get the shots you wanted down the stretch; first one defended by Horford, second didn’t go:

“Great look. I make that in my sleep. Felt good, I thought it was going to roll in but it didn’t. All the mistakes we made in the last few minutes of the game still gave ourselves a chance to win. It sucks to lose, but we got to learn from it.”

RE: What mistakes can you clean up:

“We had a couple turnovers, I had a turnover. We didn’t execute as well as we should have. We got to do a lot better in going late in the game. Like I said we still had an opportunity to win, we still got a look that we wanted, we executed the play perfect, we still came up short.”

RE: Turnovers:

“I think we were just feeding into their aggression. They came out aggressive, hands everywhere and they got their hands on the ball in the passing lane and they took it to their advantage.”

KYLE LOWRY

RE: Feelings tonight:

“It wasn’t that emotional, just a down to the wire game. They are the best team in the NBA right now, 12 in a row. They’re playing unbelievable, everyone is picking up slack. They lose Kyrie (Irving) and he doesn’t play, Rozier (Terry) is smart and those guys step in. Tatum (Jason) stepped up. They all played aggressive. 15 offensive rebounds, 21 second chance points that’s kind of tough.”

RE: DeRozan shot:

“I would roll with that shot every time. I don’t care, he’s shooting, I’m giving him the ball every time. He going to make it 8 out of 10 times this just happened to be one he missed.”

RE: Turnovers early in game:

“I think they were jumping to the blues and hard and we just weren’t reading the defense early, but we settled in. We still finished the quarter tied, after the first half we were up and they pretty much beat us in the third quarter. Tip your hats to them, they played well, they are a good team.”

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